Rain + mud + worms + boys = Sunday Morning Disaster.
Relaxing is no longer an adjective that floats to the surface of my mind when I envision Sunday mornings.
Pre-children years included favorite music filling the house as we emptied our coffee cups and played footsie under the kitchen table.
Post-children years include the music of wailing as we squeeze our crew into uncomfortable church clothes intermingled with the sound of laughter as they streak through the house after their baths decked out in their “nuder-man” outfits (yes, that means naked!). Meanwhile, the coffee maker sits collecting dust on the counter and the only thing being emptied at breakfast now are my cups of patience and joy as bowls of cereal topple off the table and lakes of milk form on my freshly cleaned hardwood floor.
All of this really gets me in the mood to go to church and be spiritual. That’s why I’m relieved that real church isn’t a showcase for saints (oops, I missed that anointing for sainthood!) but rather a hospital for sinners.
After what happened this last Sunday, I was more than ready to raise my white hankie in surrender and admit that I sin with the best of them. Glory hallelujah!
The children were lassoed and decked out in their outfits that included (for the boys) white long sleeved shirts and khakis (with strict instructions to not touch or even THINK about anything dirty), the mountain of Cheerios were swept up and the lake of milk was sopped up as my little soldiers were marched to the door to begin our "Exodus". I typically begin the “Exodus” from our house about half an hour before we actually need to LEAVE for any given event as history has evidenced Murphy’s Law is a FACT with four children under age five.
One baby loaded in the car seat and placed in the van, check.
One little girl buckled into her car seat with a handful of fruit snacks to keep her momentarily happy, check.
One three year old boy buckled into his seat with a book to read, check.
One four year old boy buckled into his seat with a book to read as well, check.
One Momma still wearing slippers…oh, snap…check.
“Okay, guys--Momma has to grab some shoes, I’ll be right back so just relax and STAY IN THE VAN, okay?”
They all nodded and I was foolishly deceived into thinking this is what things would look like when I reappeared. I raced back outside…where I ran smack dab into my four year old son whose hand was submerged up to his elbow in a bucket of DIRT.
I did a double-take, what’s this?! I immediately noticed His white polo shirt was now a lovely shade of brown and then he noticed a moment later that I had smoke coming out of my ears.
“Oh, Momma…" Gideon said, "I had to check to make sure the worms we caught yesterday are all alive. Oh, wow--yup, they are. Okay, I’ll get into the van now…oh, wait--I guess I have a little dirt on me…”
I would like to say I was very spiritual at that moment and reflected on the joys of boys and laughed about it all. I would like to say that…but, I’ll shoot straight with ya’ll: I didn’t. I did one of those First/Middle/Last-Name-of-Your-Child-Hollers that probably woke up the neighbors that were hoping to sleep in on a Sunday morning. I have (quite infrequently) my saint moments, then, the rest of the time, I’m a sinner.
When Gideon and I climbed back into the van a few minutes later (with a clean shirt and dirt still under his fingernails), a little smile was starting to replace my crabby-Momma-face (thank God, that is such a bad look on me!). When Gideon caught my eye in the mirror as he buckled back into his seat, I winked at him and his face lit up in a smile of his own, all was forgiven. If God can forgive me for being a SPAZ about LITTLE things, for freaking out when I should take a moment to think before I speak, then how much MORE should I be quick to forgive my children who sometimes mess up in little ways.
I backed out of our driveway and headed towards the hospital for sinners…that was just the kind of place I needed to be on a Sunday morning like this. I had some dirt of my own that needed to be cleaned up.